Kerala and Cuba as socialist developement models

by Sofia

Joseph Th.
-powers that be
-Millenium Goals
-many models of development failing, but Kerala and Cuba succeeded, what lessons can we learn from them?
1. centrality of social institutions, interventionist state as actor / public distribution system
2. institutionalized way of organizing people
3. culture of revolution, social values transformed. but is transformation of consciousness sustainable?
-these models must adjust to neoliberal globalization. growth problematic: cannot produce jobs for themselves. inequality, poverty
-privatization of education and health–accessibility compromised
-agriculture in crisis: in decline in Kerala; not used as a means to grow food, but of producing cash crops for export
-food security issues. Cuba: organic farming, but still imports food (one of its major expenditures, therefore making its national security precarious)
-can there be human development with agriculture? (educated people don’t want to be peasants, want to be urbanites)
-we see that povery CAN be radically reduced, if not eradicated

Henry Veltmeyer
-human development does not require capitalism; neoliberalism inherently incapable of human development
-socialism can provide more appropriate framework for it
-difference in way system set up to design new society on “full equality”
-Amartya Sen: expansion of choice/opportunity and freedom to exercise these
-operational grassroots: poor act for themselves in local contexts, decentralized (key feature of new paradigm of sustainable human development)
-bring state back in, but it must protect people’s rights to make own choices. “humanist marxist theory” vs. UNDP policy
-means of free development of each are means of free development for all, achieved through social liberalist conceptions institutionalized as principles: freedom, equality and solidarity
-formal and legal right to choose, as long as doesn’t overstep on others
– food, work, housing and dignity are provided by state, not by market
-idea of human development as engagement of all in struggle; change in consciousness -> New Man/Woman. predicated on cultural revolution for realization of individualism
1. how to maintain revolutionary consciousness and ethic?
2. action of freedom/equality/solidarity as organizational principles and core values
3. public action: agency of state plus people power (popular participation in public policy). civil society

Mark R.
equity trumps freedom

discussion
-Amartya Sen’s capability approach
-civic engagement bringing about change bottom up; maybe voluntary more effective than state-driven
-cuban CDRs
-How might Costa Rica’s success been if it had had to put so much of its energy and money towards military like Cuba did?
-individualism vs solidarity as organizing principles of society? collective action can be based on self-interest
-mothers go hungry to feed their children -> self interest or altruism? maybe the distinction is not so clear.

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